Mail From Back Home
Nicodemus National Historic Site
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Eager for word from loved ones back home, people gathered at the St. Francis Hotel when the mail wagon arrived. The right, upright section of this building was the original limestone St. Francis Hotel, Nicodemus' first stone building along the main street.
Civil War cavalry veteran, Zachary T. Fletcher and his wife, Jenny, came from Kentucky with the fist Nicodemus settlers. Initially they homesteaded a few miles west of town. Then in 1881, hopeful that a railroad line would promote business, Fletcher and his brother Thomas built the hotel.
The St. Francis was often full. Lodging for homesteaders and travelers was hard to find. Jenny Fletcher prepared hot meals for hotel guests. She also ran a millinery (hat) shop and later served as postmaster.
"This house is in first-class order and is prepared to furnish the best accommodations to the traveling public. Charges reasonable." Western Cyclone, May 27, 1886
Zachary Fletcher was not only the first postmaster in Nicodemus but also the first black postmaster in a non-slave state. He established
By 1880, Nicodemus had a population of almost 500, and boasted a bank, to hotels, three churches, a newspaper, a drug store, and three general stores-surrounded by twelve
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Communications • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church ⛪, and the Postal Mail and Philately 📭 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 39° 23.585′ N, 99° 36.931′ W. Marker is in Nicodemus, Kansas, in Graham County. Marker is on Washington Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 413 Washington Ave, Bogue KS 67625, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Francis Hotel (here, next to this marker); Together We Gather (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street Boom and Beyond (within shouting distance of this marker); Leaning On The Land (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nicodemus
Also see . . . Nicodemus Nat'l Hist. Site. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.